Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Igado (Pork and Liver Stew)

This month, Filipino Food Aficionado is featuring regional specialties from different provinces in the Philippines.  We will start with Ilocos Region (Region 1) which is popular for its authentic dishes such as dinengdeng, dinuguan, dinakdakan and igado.

Igado is one of the most popular Ilocano (ethnic group from Ilocos, a region in northern Philippines) dishes. The dish is named after the Spanish word "higado" which means liver. The Philippines was a colony of Spain from 1521 to 1898. 

The dish is composed of tender strips of pork meat and liver, carrots, bell pepper and sweet peas simmered in a thick brown sauce of soy, vinegar, onion and garlic.

In the Philippines igado is served as an entree either for lunch or dinner. It is served with steamed rice. It could also be served as an accompaniment to beer and other local alcoholic beverage.


  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 1/2 lb. pork tenderloin, cut into 1 1/2" strips
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 lb. pork liver, cut into 1 1/2" strips
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 medium carrots, sliced into 1" strips
  • 1 cup sweet peas
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1" strips
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Saute garlic and onion for 3 minutes or until onion is translucent. 
  2. Add pork stirring constantly until the meat is light brown.
  3. Add soy sauce and water. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add bay leaves and continue simmering for 2 minutes.
  5. Add liver and vinegar. Do not stir. Simmer uncovered for 8 minutes.
  6. Add carrots.  Simmer for 3 minutes.
  7. Add green peas and bell pepper.  Simmer for 3 minutes. 
  8. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Serve warm with rice.

Serves 6


* Use fresh pork liver. Avoid using frozen ones. If you live outside the Philippines you can purchase pork liver from Asian and Latin stores.

* Rinse the liver with 3 parts water and 1 part vinegar  at least 3 times to reduce its odor.

*  Do not overcook the liver. Overcooking it will result to a rubbery texture.

*  A technique to quickly thicken the sauce is to add a mixture of 1 tablespoon flour and 3 tablespoons water on the last minute of simmering. 

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